Riffing on a classic sporting motif, Dos Equis has today launched a new, lighthearted campaign that’s all about college football rivalries – just in time for the season’s start on Saturday. The brand marketing effort is aimed at helping the beermaker and its parent company Heineken accelerate sales after suffering pandemic woes.
Dos Equis, the Heineken-owned Mexican-style pilsner brand, has today unveiled a new campaign designed to get fans excited for college football season with a healthy dose – or ‘Dos’ – of rivalry.
Kicking off with two short films, the multichannel campaign created by Sid Lee pokes playful fun at common college football rivalries through relatable gameday scenes: a convenience store customer is intimidated by the shopkeeper repping a rival team’s jersey; a fan positions a bowl of chips decisively out of reach of a bargoer rooting for her team’s opponents. “We hope consumers can see themselves in these all-too-familiar situations and have a good laugh while exciting them about the upcoming college football season,” says Dos Equis’s senior brand manager Ashleigh Phelps.
The spots each end with a tagline reading either ‘Get a Dos’ or ‘A Dos of Rivalry’, and serve as extensions of the brand’s ‘A Dos Of’ brand platform, which was developed by Sid Lee and introduced this spring.
A branded touchdown
The new campaign debuts just in time for college football season, which starts on Saturday August 28 with Nebraska-Illinois and Hawaii-UCLA showdowns. It builds upon Dos Equis’s long history as sponsors and supporters of college football. Some of the brand’s longstanding partnerships include USC, UCLA, Texas A&M, University of Georgia, Ole Miss and Rutgers.
This year, Dos Equis is investing in additional brand marketing efforts and activations around college football. It is the official beer sponsor of Fox Sports’s Big Noon Kickoff show, and has just finalized a deal with REVELxp, which offers tailgates at more than 60 stadiums nationwide. Dos Equis says it will also host a series of on-site events at various schools, and has teamed up with a number of influencers to promote the beer during key moments and milestones throughout the upcoming season.
“College football dominates the fall throughout the Sun Belt in the United States, which is the primary market for Dos Equis,” says Phelps. “Game days are more than just a tradition for Dos Equis drinkers – they are a way of life. It’s important for us to meet our consumers exactly where they already are and ensure that absolutely nothing interferes with their gameday experiences.”
Phelps hopes the new campaign will help solidify the brand’s identity as a mainstay of college football and football culture. “In the past we’ve focused primarily on reaching our consumers during the playoffs at the end of the season,” she says. “Our new campaign, partnerships and on-the-ground activations are allowing us to have a presence all season long.”
The recovery kick-off
The campaign could help the brand and its parent company, Heineken Holding NV, drive beverage sales and accelerate pandemic recovery. Filed earlier this month, the company’s half-year earnings indicate that net revenue has seen 14.1% year-on-year organic growth, and that revenues from consolidated beer organic growth are up 9.6% from the same period during the prior year. Even so, full-year projections remain below 2019 numbers, suggesting that Heineken’s business is still suffering from the financial impact of the pandemic.
However, brand marketing efforts such as the new Dos Equis campaign, in combination with a number of recent product development initiatives, could help accelerate the recovery effort. Last summer, Dos Equis introduced refreshed packaging. Then, earlier this spring, the brand debuted new flavored lagers including Lime & Salt, Watermelon, Cucumber, Pineapple and Ranch Water, which Phelps says have contributed to valuable growth.
Some other Heineken-owned brands – which include Tecate, Amstel, Tiger, Lagunitas, Sol and Red Stripe – have also invested in product development and marketing efforts over the last year and a half.
“[The ‘A Dos Of’ platform is] a really simple thought, which are often the hardest ones to get to – but it’s a simple, elegant thought that can do so many more things,” says Sid Lee’s chief creative officer Cam Levin. “We’re building on that notion of taking life as you know it, but just adding a little shift to help you upgrade your view or feel better about life. In speaking with some of the consumers and folks who’ve been watching the ads, there was a general feeling that even if we were doing things like rivalry, which is an obvious place to go with sports, that this year in particular it would be good to do that in a friendly sense and add some optimism to that because people weren’t ready for cynicism or aggressive rivalry. They really wanted something uplifting and optimistic given what we’ve been through, which perfectly fits with our campaign.”